new flier, married , concerned about safty and cost

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I started learning to fly about four years ago (have 19 hours). I
now have a family with two small children. Every time I start to
think about going back, my wife and I hear about another accident
First question: how safe is it? I would like to learn to fly a twin
engine plane to take the family on trips. I have looked at a lot of
used twin engine planes on line. I would buy a used plane (around
175K), and so here is the second question: am I out of my mind? What
would this cost? (New York to Fla, New York to Co, New York to
Bahamas, New York to Boston Ma,) Maintenance , fuel, plane
depreciation etc�is this a good reason to want to learn how to fly?

Stephan Shelton

-- stephan shelton, December 9, 2006


Flying for transportation requires a lot of training and a lot of airplane (deiced, able to climb above weather). The planes that can take a family through real weather are at least $200/hour to run and go roughly 200 miles per hour. So NY to Florida would be 10 hours round-trip and cost $2000.

-- Philip Greenspun, December 10, 2006

Flying light airplanes is quite safe. Consider the hundreds-thousands-of operations that occur annualy without incident. I don't have the data in front of me, but I think there are serveral activities more dangerous than flying a light airplane. I suspect that driving your automobile or flying on an airline are about the only mehtods statistically safer.

Twin engine airplanes increase the risk factor at this level. They are typically more complex and terribly under-powered. I suspect the accident rate is siginificantly higher with multi-engine airplanes than that of single-engine airplanes.

Overall, learning to fly only to transport yourself is probably a bad reason to want to learn to fly. Personal transportation can be a benefit; however, considering the weather on the East Coast and the equipment this might create numerous delays in your plans. If you want to go to Florida or the Bahamas from New York I highly suggest JetBlue. It will be less expensive for sure. New York to Boston is practical; however, you really don't need a multi-engine airplane for this. Though, it would certainly work.

-- Bradrick Pretzer, December 10, 2006

Just wanted to say Thank You for your time and information on this subject.

Stephan Shelton

-- stephan shelton, December 14, 2006